2015. The year I dove headlong into the shimmering sea of high-profile consulting for hotels and resorts. Spreading my thoughts across news portals, gracing industry podiums, and shaking hands at every corner, I was on the move. Fast forward to 2016, and my clientele list boasted 5-6 big names, with a paycheck that was 4 times what I had ever drawn. Things were looking up, right?
But as the sun rose on my budding empire, there was that nagging question: what’s next? The usual business spiel rang in my ears: expand, hire, get more clients. Sounds like the dream, doesn’t it?
Yet, as the months sped by, that dream began to strain at its seams. At the zenith of this ‘growth’, I found myself overseeing a bustling 10-person team serving a whopping 30-plus clients. But here’s the kicker: as we scaled, the towering overheads began to cast ominous shadows. Salaries ballooned, and so did other expenses. The tightrope I was walking became clear: lose 2-3 clients, and the whole castle could come crashing down. And with growth came the inevitable people problems: mistakes, sub-par outputs, and daily fires I had to personally stamp out.
Suddenly, the business I’d nurtured was less a dream and more a demanding child, pulling me in every direction. I was entangled, missing the forest for the trees. This wasn’t growth; this was chaos.
Taking a step that might seem radical to many, I hit the brakes and reassessed. The epiphany was clear: my business needed to serve me – not the other way around. Restructuring my model, I crafted a strategy that emphasized value over volume, zeroing in on client risks. The result? A dip in revenue but a soaring 70% spike in profits.
This pivotal move was transformative. It carved out time for personal growth and innovation. Branching into SaaS, pursuing an MBA, and sharpening a diverse skill set from market research to AI became realities. Freed from endless Skype calls and crisis management, life bloomed. Drives in my convertible, global escapades, and simply soaking in the joys of life became the norm.
So, if you’re peering into your business playbook, here’s a nugget from mine: Expansion isn’t the endgame. Meaningful, enriching profit is. Reevaluate your model. Aim not to capture every market slice, but the most valuable ones. And remember, in business, as in life, it’s the quality, not just the quantity, that truly counts.